Adam Zagajewski

Public Speaking Contest
October 02, 2013

Or when she told us, for the tenth time maybe, ... 

Family Home
June 30, 2011

You come here like a stranger, but this is your family home. The currants, the apple and cherry trees don’t know you. One noble tree readies a new brood of walnuts in peace, while the sun, like a worried first-grader, diligently colors in the shadows. The dining room pretends it is a crypt, and doesn’t give out one familiar echo— the old conversations haven’t lingered. There, where your life doubtless began, someone else’s television stutters. But the cellar’s been collecting darknesses— all the nights since you left are snarled like the yarn of an old sweater in which wild cats have nested. Y

Unwritten Elegy for Krakow’s Jews
April 07, 2011

“My family lived here for 500 years”—Dr.

Carts
October 20, 2010

Carts full of hay abandoned the town in greatest quiet. Cautious glances from the curtains. A morning empty as a waiting room. The rustling of papers in the archives; men calculate the losses. But that world. Suitcases packed. Sing for it, oriole, dance for it, little fox, catch it. —Translated by Clare Cavanagh  For more TNR, become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Stolarska Street
February 13, 2008

The small crowd by the American consulate ripples like a jellyfish in water. A young Dominican strides down the sidewalk and passersby yield piously. I'm at home again, silent as a Buddhist. I count the days of happiness and fretting, days spent seeking you frantically, finding just a metaphor, an image, days of Ecclesiastes and the Psalmist.   I remember the heatstruck scent of heather, the smell of sap in the forest by the sea, the dark of a white chapel in Provence, where only a candle's sun glowed. I remember Greece's small olives, Westphalia's gleaming railroads and the long trip to bid m